When I was kid and got a huge cut on my finger, I remember my grandmother putting lots of kerosene on my wound, as there was no health facility around.

I want to confirm. Do chemists agree on the antiseptic role of kerosene, or was grandma just using useless remedy?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ All medical advice is off topic here. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


Just as a note to anyone considering it as an antiseptic agent, it is toxic and probably absorbs through the skin.
Any compound that causes a change in osmotic pressure within a pathogen may kill it through plasmolysis, depending on how much of the compound is soluble in water. There may be other mechanisms by which a hydrocarbon poisons pathogens like the interruption of metabolic pathways.
Anyhow petroleum distillates are dangerous to apply to the skin and nobody should ever do it on purpose.


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